Starting the ‘Conversation’ With Aged Parents: A Financial Geriatric Tip

Rosanne Roge, CFP, RFG, CSA

There comes a time when we, or our clients, need to have “the conversation” with our parents. The most frequent topics that come up are about changes in health that will affect their lifestyle, driving, personal appearance, “senior moments,” managing finances and home safety, to name just a few.

For all of us, these are difficult topics to approach with our parents. Statistically, 31% of baby boomers have communication difficulties with their parents due to the parent-child roles that emerged in childhood. It is sometimes difficult for us to have a peer-to-peer conversation with our parents, especially if you are the youngest child. My Mom used to tell me, “As long as I’m around, I’m the mother and you’re the child.” That was a difficult statement to hear when I needed to have “the conversations.”

There is a wonderful guide known as “The 40-70 Rule…A Guide to Conversation Starters for Boomers and Their Senior Loved Ones.” This guide was prepared by Jake Harwood, Ph.D., at the University of Arizona from his research on communication and aging.

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